Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Star: Fair Coverage on PKFZ?

I've in recent months been moaning a bit about the coverage and the slant that has been taken by The Star. I know many tell me to just forget about reading the paper and that it's irrelevant. However, my "job" doesn't allow me to do that for I need to find out what 'the other side' has been saying, and there's no better way than to read the papers they own. What's more, I'm supposed to be the national publicity secretary of the party ;-)

Anyway, most of you out there would have read about the mother of all scandals, or what Lim Kit Siang has termed as "a pit of crocodiles" as opposed to just a "can of worms". RM12.5 billion bailout is required by Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), and it's not surprising that the DAP has been at the forefront (since 2006) in raising this issue, while Barisan Nasional continued to keep a lid on it.

But with RM12.5 billion, it was really a pit of crocodiles which couldn't be contained and the mainstream and online media had a field day reporting the scandal.

But interestingly enough, I could barely find any reported comments by Lim Kit Siang, Charles Santiago or myself who have all spoken fairly extensively on the issue via multiple press conferences in The Star. In fact, if you only read The Star, you would have had the impression that DAP has had nothing but good things to say about the publication of the report!

On 29th May, the day after the PKFZ report was released, Kit Siang was quoted as follows:
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang welcomed the public release of the report and commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat for their efforts in publishing it. However, he had yet to read the full report on the PKFZ issue, he said yesterday afternoon.
If you have read his blog posts recently, Kit Siang has been relentless in pursuing full accountability for the project. Of course, he has been quoted extensively in all online and Chinese media. Even the NST had more coverage.  But absolutely nothing else in The Star.

Then we have our MP for Klang, Charles Santiago who had issued a statement entitled "PKFZ: Freeze the Accounts and Suspend those Involved" on 29th as well. It covered 7 major points of criticisms and questions filling probably 2 A4 pages. But guess how it was covered in The Star? They only took the very very first line of the statement in their report "Groups hail move by government to release PKFZ findings in entirety":
Selangor DAP vice-chairman Charles Santiago also welcomed the release of the report and its submission to the MACC.
That's bloody it! If that's not an attempt to mislead and give the wrong impression of what Charles delivered in his statement, I'm not sure what is.

We know that PKFZ is now Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat's baby. He's now the president of MCA which owns The Star. We know that this project isn't his baby and he wasn't involved in the shenanigans of the earlier years.

But we certainly have a right to demand accountability such that all those who were involved in the shenanigans be brought to book, charged in court and sent to jail if proven guilty, even if they were past presidents of his party or if it involves his colleagues in Barisan Nasional.

But it appears that the Transport Minister so fears his name tainted that The Star needs to ensure that opposition voices are not heard on this issue. For that matter, the DAP leaders are painted as if we unequivocally support Ong Tee Keat in this entire excercise. 

That, unfortunately, is such a disappointment, coming from a Minister who claims intent to pursue the interest of the rakyat to the very end, if if it were to cost him politically.
Post a Comment